10/01/2007

Football fans criticised for disrupting Ervine tribute

Football fans who disrupted a one minute silence in memory of PUP leader David Ervine, have been criticised for their behaviour.

A number of Cliftonville supporters attending the away match at the Oval in east Belfast, booed during the tribute to the politician, held during last night's fixture against Glentoran, a team of which Mr Ervine was an avid supporter.

Jim Rodgers, a Glentoran director and former UUP Lord Mayor of Belfast, said that the Cliftonville fans let themselves down.

Mr Rodgers said that the silence was held because Mr Ervine was a life-long Glentoran fan rather than a politician, and claimed that over half of the away fans were involved.

Mr Rodgers said: "Cliftonville fans let down the occasion and I'm sure, when some think this morning about what they did, they will realise they shouldn't have booed."

Although Mr Rodgers condemned those who interrupted the tribute, he stressed that not every away supporter was to blame.

He added: "Two Cliftonville fans I know phoned me on my mobile to apologise and say they weren't part of it."

David Ervine, 53, died on Monday afternoon, after suffering a heart attack, a stroke and a brain haemorrhage. His funeral is due to take place on Friday.

(EF/KMcA)

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